OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he has asked Transport Minister Marc Garneau to find solutions following Greyhound’s withdrawal of bus service from western Canada.
Trudeau says Greyhound’s move is “difficult” for people who live in the Prairies and for those who are struggling economically.
“I have asked our minister of transport to work with the provinces, to work with communities, to work with the company to try and see what paths forward there are,” said Trudeau.
Trudeau was responding to questions from reporters on a highway in Sutherlands River, N.S., about whether Ottawa is prepared to offer subsidies to keep the service running or offer an alternative.
Greyhound Canada announced last week it is cutting passenger and delivery services in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, northwestern Ontario and rural British Columbia.
The decision triggered outrage and apprehension among rural and First Nations communities that rely heavily on the company’s service.
Indigenous women’s advocates have said that Greyhound’s decision will put more women at risk.
The issue of transportation along a notorious stretch of B.C.’s Highway 16 — known as the Highway of Tears — was a major point of contention last fall during hearings at the national inquiry for missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.
“We of course continue to be extremely concerned by the challenge of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, that’s why we launched the national public inquiry into the issue,” said Trudeau.
“We of course are reflecting on that element of it and looking for how we can contribute to solutions.”